‘Sky of Hope’ lanterns honor those who have passed

Lightning provides a spectacular backdrop to the release of hundreds of lanterns to raise funds for Cayman HospiceCare on Seven Mile Beach Wednesday night. - PHOTO: CHAD MUNRO/PICTURE THIS STUDIOS

Hundreds gathered at Public Beach on Wednesday night to release paper lanterns honoring loved ones who have passed, at the “Sky of Hope” fundraiser for Cayman HospiceCare.

HospiceCare’s Danielle Coleman said more than 200 people came to the beach for picnic dinners and sparkling wine as they released the glowing paper lanterns into the night sky, with a backdrop of lightning storms over the sea.

“It was a wonderful time to reflect and enjoy bubbles and great music with family and friends whilst remembering all the loved ones who have passed on before us,” Ms. Coleman said.

“Cayman HospiceCare is incredibly grateful to the Cayman community for all its support and we look forward to seeing you for next year’s Sky of Hope,” she said.

Markus Mueri, who helped organize the event, said in an email that the evening was “an impressive family event to gather by the beach and enjoy each other’s company with a ‘Grand Finale.’

The sky over Seven Mile Beach was filled with lanterns Wednesday night to raise funds for Cayman HospiceCare. - PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY
The sky over Seven Mile Beach was filled with lanterns Wednesday night to raise funds for Cayman HospiceCare. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

“I had goosebumps seeing the lanterns in the sky. Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers; we couldn’t have done it without everybody.”

The lanterns, made from rice paper and bamboo, were set alight, the hot air carrying them into the sky.

There were a couple of tense moments when people did not hold their lanterns long enough to fill with air and an occasional fiery lantern flew toward the crowd. Red Cross volunteers were on hand, however, for any potential mishaps, and at least one carried a fire extinguisher.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Question for anyone that may know, what is the environment impact on these lanterns? Do they harm sea life? I’ve always wondered about these lanterns and when people release several balloons for one reason or another. Just curious. It looks cool!

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  2. You are absolutely right to ask because there are some terrible ones out there that cause all sorts of damage to marine life. I am very pleased to say that CHC spent a great deal of time looking into the most environmentally friendly lanterns and they consulted with the DoE and marine biologists to find the best kind – biodegradable – with bamboo frames (not metal) and rice paper. Big thumbs up to them for doing it right! Also involved was CIAA and other organisations to ensure a safe launch.

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